Science behind the StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer

myth-bustersHave you ever watched the TV show Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel? One of the oldest and most popular television shows on Discovery, the television series tests validity of rumors and myths by applying scientific method. With their experiments, the ultimate truth is exposed and common myths are debunked.

In an effort to reveal the capabilities of Torklift International StableLoad suspension upgrade we too, turned to science. In our own version of Mythbusters, we conducted a series of tests to address an important question:

Do suspension upgrades actually work?pounds

We loaded a 2015 Ford F150 truck with 2,800 pounds to simulate significant payload. For an in-depth assessment, the loaded Ford truck is tested through three different variables that replicate common handling issues.

  1. Large pot hole = side-to-side sway inclinometerInclinometer
  2. Speed bump = porpoising (front-to-back motion)
  3. Cornering = body roll

To measure degrees of movement, an inclinometer was mounted to the Ford F-150 truck. The inclinometer measures horizontal and vertical tilt.

The Ford truck was driven through the course to uncover the best and most effective suspension upgrade for your vehicle. To set a baseline, we recorded measurements of the factory suspension with no suspension upgrades.  Second, we installed airbags at 100-psi air pressure. Finally, we put the StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer to the test.

The results may surprise you.

Take a look:

The outcome of our test relied on science to prove StableLoads as the clear winner. Torklift’s version of Mythbusters showed that suspension upgrades actually do work, and that StableLoads have the greatest affect on handling characteristics of a vehicle when it comes to side-to-side sway, porpoising and body roll. If you often use your truck to haul or tow heavy payload, the StableLoads should be the first suspension modification to consider.

What makes StableLoads so effective? It’s simple.

wedge-packStableLoad wedge packBy pre-activating the strength within factory leaf spring suspension, the StableLoads tap into the overload leaf springs for extra support when towing or hauling heavy payload like a truck camper, fifth wheel, or any type of trailer.

The use of precision laser-crafted wedge plates that fill the space between the factory leaf spring pack and overload leaf spring triggers support from the vehicle’s suspension. The power of the factory suspension is initiated and put to maximum use.

Leaf Springs w No StableLoad

Applicable to any truck, van, SUV or small commercial vehicles with factory overload leaf springs, the StableLoads are the only suspension modification that quickly turn on and off based on your preference. If you use your vehicle as a daily driver, simply switch off the lower quick-disconnect StableLoads and enjoy its smooth factory ride.

b2ap3_thumbnail_stableload-display.pngStableLoads engaged (left) and disengaged (right)StableLoads are also easy to install and most applications bolt on without any need for drilling. In the rare case your vehicle does not have the half-inch hole pre-drilled by the vehicle manufacturer, don’t stress. Our engineers have designed the StableLoad Drill Tool to help. Using specialty cobalt drill bits and a household cordless drill, each leaf spring can be drilled in less than 37 seconds.

Click here to see how to drill a leaf spring. Learn about our complimentary drill tool rental program here.



true-falseRecently we’ve heard another question arise on the rumor circuit.

 

 

 

Will drilling into a leaf spring cause the spring to split or crack?

 

Due to the properties of hardened spring steel as a tempered alloy of iron, the thickness and strength of the leaf spring cannot be split or cracked. In fact, a specific technique must be used in order to drill through the spring successfully.

 

The spring cannot be cracked because of the following factors:

 

  1. The area on the lower overload leaf spring where the StableLoad installs is a relatively low stress area.
  2. The hole drilled is a radius as opposed to a square shape. The corners of a square cut would have heightened stress, causing potential for cracks to form. The round hole avoids stress risers, eliminating possibilities of splitting a spring.

Lastly, keep in mind that most vehicle manufactures are putting holes in the factory springs. If that isn't enough to give you peace of mind, Torklift International guarantees not just the Stableloads with our Legendary Lifetime Warranty, but we also cover your leaf springs. If you have any questions in regards to drilling leaf springs, call our Tech Support team at 800-246-8132.



In conclusion, the results of the StableLoad Test provided significant insight as to how suspension upgrades can help your vehicle handle payload more effectively.stableload-marathon

In comparison to airbags, the StableLoads performed 30 percent better when it comes to side-to-side sway, front-to-back motion or porpoising is reduced by 20 percent, and body roll showed 10 percent improvement.

By using the inclinometer to measure and analyze vehicle movement, science proves that suspension upgrades greatly impact vehicle handling.

Click here to learn more about the StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer.

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How to drill a leaf spring in less than 37 seconds!

Drilling holes in the overload leaf springs of your vehicle may seem like a daunting task, especially due to the characteristics of the hardened spring steel, however, we have a couple options for you.

Many factory overload springs are pre-drilled with 1/2” holes by the manufacturer, making installing a suspension upgrade like the StableLoads, a simple DIY experience. It is important to note that there are many applications of the StableLoad that do not require drilling. To check your application, click here.

If your vehicle does not have the hole pre-drilled, don’t panic or believe anyone who told you it can’t be done. Torklift engineers have contacted some of the world’s leading drill bit manufacturers that make specialized drill bits of all kinds as well as specialized hardened alloy applications. This includes drilling U.S. military armor plating. Based on their input we have the correct drill bits required and a few techniques that highlight the easiest way for anyone to drill a hole in a leaf spring.

There are two options using a common cordless drill. Drilling with our specially designed tool or drilling without, we will walk you through each technique here.

Option One: How to drill with the Torklift International StableLoad Leaf Spring Drill Tool

What you will need:

        - StableLoad Leaf Spring Drill Tool
        b2ap3_thumbnail_stableloaddrilltool.png

        -  Cordless Drill
        b2ap3_thumbnail_drilling.png

        -  Four 7/16” cobalt drill bits
           (These are included with your StableLoad suspension stabilizer)
        -  Cutting oil or motor oil to keep the drill bit lubricated during the drilling process
        -  3/4" socket wrench
        -  Safety glasses

Estimated time to drill four leaf springs: under three minutes

Simply watch this brief video below to see how it is done in 37 seconds.

The key to drilling a leaf spring effectively is to apply a significant amount of force, using a cordless drill with a very slow rotation speed and a well-lubricated drill bit. Using our special StableLoad Leaf Spring Drill Tool, cobalt drill bits and cordless drill, the specifically designed StableLoad Drill Tool cradles the drill allowing you to slowly guide the drill bit with little effort. No need to struggle with keeping the drill in place while applying a significant amount of force by hand -- the StableLoad Drill Tool does the work for you and is the simplest and quickest method to drill the spring.

If you have decided you do not want to use the StableLoad Drill Tool, read below.

Option Two: How to drill a leaf spring without a StableLoad Drill Tool

What you will need:

        -  Household cordless drill
        -  Cutting oil or motor oil
        -  Four 7/16” cobalt drill bits
           (These are included with your StableLoad suspension stabilizer)
        -  Safety glasses

Estimated time to drill four leaf springs: 45 minutes

Step one:
Determine where you want to drill the hole. With StableLoads, you will mark the hole in the center of the leaf spring 1” back from the end.
Note: Use only the special cobalt drill bits supplied in the StableLoad kit and do not predrill the spring with a smaller diameter pilot drill bit for a pilot hole.

Step two:
Apply oil to the cobalt drill bit.

Step three:
It is important to not drill all the way through the leaf spring. Once the top of the leaf spring starts to dimple, move on to next hole. If you try to drill all the way though at this point, it may damage the drill bit.

Step four:
When drilling, apply high force. The leaf spring will deflect about 1/4” when drilling. (Maximum pressure at low speed is critical to avoid drill bit damage)


Step five:
Re-apply oil to the cobalt drill bit often. (every 5 to 10 seconds)

Step six:
Once all springs are dimpled on top of the spring from the drill bit drilling nearly all the way through the spring, go back to each hole to break through the remaining material on the holes. Do this while you decrease the amount of force as the drill bit breaks through the top of the spring. Be cautious because the drill bit will want to grab the edges and pull the drill upwards as it breaks through.

If you would like to learn more information on the StableLoad Leaf Spring Drill Tool or need some additional assistance with how to drill leaf springs, email support@torklift.com or call 800-246-8132. Our Torklift Tech Support Team is happy to help you!

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